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October 17, 2018

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Experts appeal for healthy US, China bilateral ties

JOINT efforts have to be made by both the United States and China to maintain healthy and stable development of bilateral ties, which are not only mutually beneficial but crucial for a stable world order, American experts said.

Considering the changing dynamics of the global political and economic order, China and the United States should not be a threat to each other but explore how they rely on and compete with each other for the benefit of both countries and the world as a whole, said professor Joseph Nye at a forum held on Monday at the Loeb House, Harvard University.

“I fear that what we are going through now in the current time of trouble is that we’re going to lose some of that capacity to appreciate each other’s soft power, and thereby jeopardize some of our longer-term capacity to cooperate,” he said. “China and the United States can work together, and we are not going to have an international order where either country can prevail.”

Nye, who coined the term “soft power” in the late 1980s, said that much of the current rhetoric in the United States and the West regarding China’s use of soft power is based on misperceptions. “If China and the United States are going to cooperate on major problems of the future, such as climate change or rules for cyberspace or pandemics, we’re going to have to have an attitude towards each other of being able to cooperate,” he said.

William Overholt, senior research fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, Harvard Kennedy School, and author of “The Rise of China: How Economic Reform is Creating a New Superpower,” said: “The China-US relationship has contributed to some of the most significant accomplishments in the world today. If we recognize that, we can overcome the challenges facing our two countries today. We can take the past successes of the previous 40 years and bring them to the next level.”


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